[USER EXPERIENCE] One of my biggest gripe with Singtel Fibre Broadband is its default router. It is not as bad as some of the opinions I heard, yet its average Wifi coverage, lack of features such as guest network and dull look gives it an unfavourable impression.

My current one is "Singtel WiFi Gigabit Router AC1900" which is quite new as my previous one, Aztech FG7003GRV(AC) broke after nearly 2 years of service. The fact that it's a new model and still doesn't impress means it is time for a new powerhouse.

Enter ASUS RT-AC88U. Let's leave the review of the router to the next post and focus on the steps required to replace any Singtel router with this beast.

Before you begin, note that these steps works for;

  1. ASUS RTAC88U purchased in Singapore as the routers are pre-configured with Singtel profile. In any cases, if you get to step 6 and cannot find "Singtel-MIO" profile, look for "Singtel-Others". If you cannot find either and you bought the set locally, contact ASUS Singapore.
  2. MIO Voice is not setup on router. (Actually it may just work if you follow the guide but I don't have MIO Voice to confirm.)
Disclaimer: I am of course not liable for any problems with the router should you follow the guide. :)

Step 1: Unplug and power down
Before unplugging, take a picture of the existing setup so if you need to revert to this setup you can reference to the picture. As well take a note of which is the WAN cable running from your ONT (Optical Network Terminal), the only other device that's not a router. and also note the MIO TV cable running from the MIO TV Box. Then power down both the MIO TV box, Singtel router and ONT in that order.

Step 3: Power up and connect
Power up, ONT then ASUS router. Go have a glass of water and give them 2 minutes to have everything running. You know when more than one LED blinks. Now, take any device that can connect to the ASUS router, it could be iPhone, Android phone/tablet or computer desktop/laptop with Wifi capability. Search for new network and connect to either "ASUS" or "ASUS_5G". It wouldn't require any password at this point.

You can also connect your computer via a LAN cable to the router, which will save you most of the work in step number 4.

Step 4: Setup router
Upon successful connection, a login page will load automatically. Follow the instructions to create router account. Next the router asked if would setup the Wifi password for the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz network. You can choose to setup now or later.

Reconnect to the Wifi network as you have applied the passwords. If you haven't, then you will be greeted with some more setup pages, just click through them and always select "Automatic IP" and "No ISP Username and password" when prompted. Your objective is to reach the page that looks like the following.

ASUS router setup page
Step 5: Getting to the setup page (if you didn't get it in step 4)
If you have chosen to setup with Wifi password, after reconnection, you may be brought back to ASUS login page, you will see the setup (see above) after login. If you are not automatically brought back to the login page, you can try this url in web browser: http://router.asus.com/Main_Login.asp.

If it still doesn't work, then you it is time to deploy ASUS Discovery app. For computers with CD-ROM, you can pop in the CD that comes with the router and look for "Discovery.exe". For any other devices, you may look for "ASUS Discovery" in app store or ASUS website for your device. Whichever devices you use, the app will guide you to the router setup page.

Step 6: THE step
Here is the most important step. Once you are in the setup page, look for "LAN" under "Advance Settings" in the second half of the page, move into this menu and look for "IPTV". Select "Singtel-MIO" and click "Apply". See screenshot below. If you cannot find the profile, contact ASUS Singapore.

The exact configuration for Singtel Fibre and MIO users.
Step 7: Plug into ASUS router
Plug WAN cable running from ONT to the WAN port on the ASUS router, it is the only blue port on the back of the ASUS router. Then plug in the MIO TV box cable to port number 4 of the ASUS router, note that only port number 4 will work with MIO TV box.

Go back to the home page of the router and you will see "Internet Status" = "Connected". Viola!
Entrance to the Xbox One Showcase on 2 September 2016
 [EVENT] Gaming! Long time no see! I was extremely excited and privileged to be at Xbox Showcase 2016 a week ago after a long prolong absence from console gaming after my Playstation 3 broke. And boy, I indeed have lots to report!
First custom-designed Xbox One S bundle ever: Gears of War 4 Limited Edition 2TB Bundle
First off, an original white Xbox One S was placed right in the middle of the Microsoft Auditorium. I saw images of it online sometime back but seeing it in person stirs the gaming soul in me. Moments later at the event, the first custom-designed Xbox One S bundle ever: Gears of War 4 Limited Edition 2TB Bundle made it's appearance!

Priced at S$699, the Xbox One S Gears of War 4 Limited Edition 2TB Bundle includes a battle-weathered custom Xbox One S console with a 2TB hard drive, an all-new Gears of War 4 Crimson Omen Limited Edition Xbox Wireless Controller, full game download of Gears of War 4: Ultimate Edition for both Xbox One and Windows 10, a Gears of War 4 Season Pass and eight additional Gear Packs.

In between the showcase of the newly unveiled consoles was 2 hours of hell fun gaming that reminded me just how much I missed gaming. Microsoft put some of their best and most popular games up for the participants. For our fun, there are Dead Rising 4, Forza Horizon 3, Gears of War 4, NBA2k17... Damn, I am so going to get a gaming console this year... or not, popular Xbox games are also available on Windows 10!

At the event, Microsoft also revealed details of the grand prize – an unforgettable trip of a lifetime to Sydney, Australia to participate in an epic week of Xbox activities! 

The week includes the adrenalin-pumping Forza Horizon 3 launch event, a Gears of War experience at Sydney’s iconic Bondi Beach, first-to-play games with developers from Playground Games, The Coalition and more, as well as opportunities to take in the amazing sights and sounds of Sydney, Australia. 

Fans and gamers simply have to watch and take note of the contest question posed during the live stream at the event on 2 September and submit their response via the Xbox Singapore Facebook page by 12 September, in order to stand a chance to win the grand prize.

Orico H7013 Series: China set.
[REVIEW] "I need 7 USB ports!" This is the requirement from my demanding friend whom asked me for advice for a quality 7 port USB hub. As much as I doubt the need for a 7 port USB hub, it is a my duty to help out a friend in need especially when it comes to purchasing computer accessories!

There aren't really much 7 port USB hub in market perhaps because in today tech world, average consumers would be fine with at most a keyboard, mouse and hard disk. In the end, it has to be in the Nubox Raffles outlet that I found my inspiration.

Introducing Orico H7013. And here are 3 thoughts on the excellent S$27.90 device I bought on Qoo10, a China export set.

Package content: Including a 2-pin charger.
Orico H7013 in action

Orico H7013 comes with a USB cable and power adaptor which provides adequate power supply, for 7 USB devices to work stably, especially the large capacity hard disks.

Orico says the 7 USB 3.0 ports offers transfer speed is up to 5 Gbps. My test on the transfer speed is limited to USB 2.0 because that's all my 5 year old MacBook Pro and Western Digital WD2500ML can do.

With the variables above, I get a consistent 30 MB per second read speed and 26 MB per second write speed with Orico H7013 between the computer and hard disk. When the hard disk is directly plugged in the computer I get a slight drop of 2 MB per second.

No additional driver installation is required for Orico H7013 to work. H7013 is also compatible with Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Android 4.2 and other major systems, plug and play.

USB In-port to connect to the computer.

Plastic matte finish may not be as classy as metallic finish but it's still looking very handsome. With the classic black, that's the formula for a timeless design and low profile at the same time.

There is a blue LED which lights when the hub is in used. Everything is looking rather well build for a USB hub.

And lastly, have a look at the image below, you would see that having the usb ports lined up in a straight line is a very bright concept because even the very wide USB sticks will fit!

The situation when all 7 ports are plugged in.
Some noteworthy stuff

My Western Digital WD2500ML, a several years old external hard disk, did not work with Orico H7013 with the power adaptor plugged in. Rest of the less power hungry devices worked, such as thumbdrives and my fitness tracking watch (charging) even when all 7 ports are in action.

Of course, with a 7 ports USB the power adaptor is essentially part of the device so this is just FYI information.

Another note is Orico H7013 does not charge the likes of tablets despite the power adaptor.
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